eCommerce has been around for a while now, and on a frequent basis more and more players are entering this market, and most are failing at it despite of the experience and expertise founders bring which they think is sufficient to crack this model. Although the reasons for failure of such startups vary, here are 7 common critical mistakes that they make and should avoid.
1.) Scaling first, analyzing and testing later
Majority of the eCommerce companies first look for skyrocketing growth in the foreseeable future and meanwhile they ignore the importance of testing, thinking that scaling comes first and it won’t do a harm if testing is done any time later. They are dazzled by the fact that online sales would keep growing twice or thrice year on year, and they start hurrying to set up their eCommerce portal. Many of our clients have suffered with this as they don’t test the fundamentals of their website and when they realize this- it is too late!
2.) Discounting without studying the impact
eCommerce companies are fascinated with discounts and most of them believe that it is the easiest way to acquire customers. While the reality is quite the contrary. One of our clients had been offering lucrative coupons without even realizing that they are not acquiring the right set of customers and discounting did not result into positive sales at all. The customers who are discount crazy might not return to your website in the future. So, while discounting helps in attracting e Customers, it’s a double edged sword and must be used with care.
3.) Underestimating the importance of Analytics
This is the biggest blunder, nearly every eCommerce company makes. We have seen many of our clients who have been into business for more than two years and they haven’t even set up Google Analytics properly. Remember, data is precious! And it can give you insights which can turn fortunes for your business and break a lot of myths for you.
Companies keep on wasting money on marketing, shuffling between agencies, hiring and firing them when they don’t deliver results, neglecting the fact that a simple answer might be residing in the data.The first thing that you should do, after your website is setup is to get Google Analytics integrated properly.
4.) Not choosing the right eCommerce platform
The importance of choosing the right eCommerce platform cannot be understated. It would help do a very comprehensive research or consulting an expert before zeroing down on a particular platform. You should clearly understand your requirements, strengths etc. to ensure you make the right choice. For example, if you are not a tech person and are looking for a quick and easy way to get started, then using a SaaS platform can be a good option. If you want a lot of customization and control, you can choose to go with platforms like Magento, Openkart etc.
5.) Not optimizing for mobile
Gradually, mobile is becoming more important than Desktop but still a big chunk of eCommerce companies do not check if their mobile websites are as responsive as their desktop version websites. As per stats, “In 2013, retail purchases conducted on smartphones will net a total-sales revenue of $14.59 billion. By 2017, this figure will more than double to $30.66 billion.”
Responsiveness is not only a requirement, but a necessity for every eCommerce website. So, you must optimize for mobile and check that your website design is compatible with small screen sizes and all major smartphone models and operating systems for a better user experience. Stats say, “78% of mobile device users claim that the “look and feel” of a company’s mobile site has a huge impact on their decision to make a purchase from it.” eCommerce sites which are not optimizing for these shoppers are surely missing out a lot of potential sales.
6.) Not optimizing for speed
eCommerce companies just love to have jazzy websites. They hire brilliant designers with heavy definition design and images but they overlook the fact that it might make their website slow and the user might not have a high speed internet. Stat says, “Every one second of delay in site load time can reduce conversion rate by 7%”.
Slow site speed not only affects the entire user experience, the website’s ranking in search engines. Friendly interface and easy navigation are important, but if your site is not loading quickly, your customer will leave your site without surfing anything further. Bounce rate is badly affected if your site load time is high.
7.) Not paying much attention to retargeting
It’s a fact that most of the visitors do not buy anything on their first visit to your website. As per Ad Roll, “On average, 98% of ecommerce shoppers leave without converting.” So, retargeting becomes very important for an eCommerce business. It helps in bringing those potential customers back who once have left your site without completing the purchase, by showing them the products in their abandoned shopping cart and other similar products again and again.
Also, retargeting is very helpful in bringing back the users who have completed a transaction on your website. We have worked for quite a few clients who have been running eCommerce business for a couple of years but they haven’t even thought of putting Facebook or Google retargeting pixel and thus, we have to start building the audience from scratch.
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